SoftBank Nears Deal to Sell Arm to Nvidia [Updated]

SoftBank is nearing a deal to sell its Arm Holdings to Nvidia, the world's largest graphics chipmaker, reports The Wall Street Journal.

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According to those familiar with the matter, a cash-and-stock deal between the two companies could occur early next week and would be valued at over $40 billion, which could potentially be the largest deal ever in the semiconductor industry. SoftBank initially acquired Arm for $32 billion four years ago.

The two companies have reportedly been in talks for weeks over a possible deal, and if completed, scrutiny may arise among antitrust regulars since Nvidia itself is currently a customer of Arm. Companies that utilize Arm technology would also not be in favor of a deal without explicit assurances that Arm's instruction set will continue to be available for equal licensing opportunities.

SoftBank allegedly approached Apple to see if it was interested in the purchase of Arm, but Apple hadn't planned to pursue a bid due to Arm's licensing requirements and possible regulatory concerns.

Apple licenses technology from Arm for its A-series chips used in its iPhones and iPads, and the company is planning to transition to Arm-based chips in its Mac lineup later this year. A potential sale to Nvidia would not likely have a major impact on Apple or Apple's licensing of Arm technology.

Update: Nvidia has confirmed it will be acquiring Arm from SoftBank in a deal valued at $40 billion.

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Top Rated Comments

farewelwilliams Avatar
48 months ago

Shame Apple didnt buy ARM. Seems like a great opportunity.
Apple has a perpetual license to use ARM instruction set. They don’t need them.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
laz232 Avatar
48 months ago

Shame Apple didnt buy ARM. Seems like a great opportunity.
No it wouldn't - it would actually be an albatros around Apple's neck.

Edit: it would look too much like a monopoly (see other court cases) - even if licenses are under "fair" non-discrimanatory terms.
Whereas Apple is such big licensee - ARM owners are forced to work with them - so not owning ARM is actually in Apple's strategic favour.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RyanFlynn Avatar
48 months ago
Hopefully apple will wake up and let us install Nvidia drivers in OS X.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Moyapilot Avatar
48 months ago
Nvidia has obviously done their homework and sees benifits to owning Arm. Why do fanboys always make it sound like its of no value just because Apple isn’t buying? Apple probably has enough lawsuits on its hands that it didn’t want to take on any more. But thats just a wild guess and I’m sure their are other reasons.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
magicschoolbus Avatar
48 months ago
Damn. NVIDIA is becoming a powerhouse.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Skika Avatar
48 months ago
Shame Apple didnt buy ARM. Seems like a great opportunity.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)